Background Music in a Montessori Classroom: Does Music Help Children Focus During the Work Cycle in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom?
This action research project was created to study the different behaviors (focused and unfocused) that occurred when different types of music were played in the background of an early childhood Montessori classroom. The study took place at a private Montessori school located in the southeastern part of Wisconsin. There was a total of 26 children in the classroom which consisted of grades 3K through Kindergarten, with ages ranging between two and a half to six-years old. Over a six-week period, three different music conditions were implemented (two weeks at a time) into the background of the classroom environment; no music, classical music and Disney music. Focused and unfocused behaviors were observed and documented during each music condition. Quantitative and qualitative data collections were used and then analyzed to determine if music aids or deters a child’s focus. The results of the study showed that music does aid in helping a child focus during the work cycle of an early childhood Montessori classroom; specifically, the three-year olds showed the most increase in focused behavior when music played in the background. The effects of music on independent versus group work was also considered during this action research project as well as how to determine which music to include or avoid when playing music in the background of an early childhood classroom.